Last week week Senator Fielding met with the Minister for Climate Change, Penny Wong to discuss the link between global warming and greenhouse gas. While Fielding claimed to have an ‘open mind’, this was rather undercut by his bringing four denialists to the meeting: Bob Carter, David Evans Stewart Franks and Bill Kininmonth. Naturally, The Australian gives them space to write about global warming isn’t happening and how their questions were not answered. Wong has answers to their questions (written by Will Steffen) here, but I’ll give my answers as well:

Carter and co write:

Is it the case that CO2 increased by 5 percent since 1998 while global temperature cooled during the same period?

No.

Is it the case that the rate and magnitude of warming between 1979 and 1998 (the late 20th-century phase of global warming) were not unusual as compared with warmings that have occurred earlier in the Earth’s history?

No.

Is it the case that all computer models projected a steady increase in temperature for the period 1990 to 2008, whereas in fact there were only eight years of warming followed by 10years of stasis and cooling?

No.

A few diagrams to illuminate my answers:

The Hadley Centre’s record:

i-4f38b02f346eea79c5a009c7c634b5ff-hadcrut3.png

NASA’s:

i-dbbd2739539b73e5286a382e9167a38d-Gisstemp-Fig.A2.png

It is misleading to talk of a cooling trend because, to quote Bob Carter:

this trend is most likely produced by the single exceptionally warm 1998 El Nino year.

That was Carter in 2004 saying that 1998 shouldn’t count if it produces a warming trend.

Temperature reconstructions for past thousand years:

i-88b5de12ec380ded25d1402698bc9e49-ar4-wg1-fig6.10b.png

Computer model runs:

i-47ff98e8db14f7756140fd68691767e1-ipccar4runs.png.

Of course, The Australian wasn’t satisfied with printing this piece from Carter et al. Yesterday they published an opinion piece by Michael Asten, that purported to assess Fielding’s questions and gave him 1.5 out of 3. Asten admits that it hasn’t cooled since 1998 and that short term trends aren’t meaningful but gives Fielding half a point anyway. And he gives Fielding a full point because he reckons that the Medieval warm period was as warm as the 21st century.

Comments

  1. #1 sod
    June 24, 2009

    the claim that all the model runs show a “steady increase” of temperature is plainly stupid. how those 4 “scientists” could stand there while it was asked (and how they could repeat it in their article) simply is beyond me.

    Fielding also brought along some “independent” others to the meeting. like Jo Nova:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2009/06/19/the-wong-fielding-meeting-on-global-warming/

  2. #2 sod
    June 24, 2009

    on a slightly related point:

    NOAA has released a paper, taking a first look at the surface temperature data project by Anthony Watts.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/24/ncdc-writes-ghost-talking-points-rebuttal-to-surfacestations-project/#comments

    just by chance, they come to the same conclusion that John V got, very early into the project.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2061.

    the difference in temperature between the best and all stations is small. the surface temperature record is accurate.

  3. #3 Dave Andrews
    June 24, 2009

    Sod,

    OK, then, which model runs don’t show a steady increase in temperature over the coming century? Please point them out and where the IPCC feature them.

    Second, your claim about the accuracy of the surface temperature record ignores the fact that the overall warming during the last century was, actually, itself relatively small c0.6C. Thus even small discrepancies in the station record can have a considerable effect on the supposed total warming. Your rush to defend NOAA is disingenuous.

  4. #4 bluegrue
    June 24, 2009

    >OK, then, which model runs don’t show a steady increase in temperature over the coming century?

    It’s right there, before your eyes: Look at the last image of Tim’s post. The colored lines are individual runs, all of them show shortterm wiggles superimposed on longterm temperature increases.

    >the overall warming during the last century was, actually, itself relatively small c0.6C.

    Actually 0.8°C and way above noise level, if you care to look at the above plots. Surfacestations.org started out as ridiculing “Hey, look, the bad stations are ruining everything.” Turns out, as far as we can tell, they don’t; GISTEMP for the US48 tracks quite well with the, admittedly sparse, CRN12 station data. Now Watts is complaining, that others violated his “right” to sit on the station quality data without doing an impact analysis, making it hard for him to just continue and mock micro site issues.

  5. #5 DavidCOG
    June 24, 2009

    My response to “We’re cooling!”:

    > We certainly are – just as we were in 1891, 1904, 1917, 1929, 1950, 1964, 1976, 1992, 2000. But do you notice that every drop in temperature is followed by a rise that wipes out that drop and takes us higher than before? That’s the trend – up. That’s global warming due to carbon emissions.

    It seems to make deniers at least pause for a few minutes… before the next inanity comes tumbling out.

    I guess most of us have a morbid fascination with The Australian – how long can they keep denying reality? How bad will it get before they concede or shut the feck up?

    Ah well, it keeps Tim in a job. ;)

  6. #6 jrshipley
    June 24, 2009

    Using an outlier (1998) as a baseline is the statistical equivalent of illiteracy. People who make that argument deserve nothing but mockery. They are either idiots or think we are.

  7. #7 Gaz
    June 24, 2009

    Speaking of Fielding – his blog has an [update](http://www.stevefielding.com.au/blog/comments/assessment_of_penny_wongs_response_to_my_3_questions_on_climate_change/)
    of his stance on climate change.
    It links to a ["full run down"](http://www.stevefielding.com.au/blog/comments/assessment_of_penny_wongs_response_to_my_3_questions_on_climate_change/) written by his posse of urgers.

    It’s the usual disingenuous nonsense for the most part, but I was wondering if someone with the relevant knowledge could comment on the logic of on this passage:

    “2.3. The government also claims that “in terms
    of the climate system as a whole, only about 5
    percent of the warming since 1960 has taken place
    in the air”.
    2.4. Using the Hadley CRU temperature record, the
    rise in air temperature since 1960 has been about
    0.5oC. Translating the 15×1022 J of additional
    heat in the upper 700 m of ocean since 1960 into a
    temperature rise, we find that this corresponds to
    an increase in upper ocean temperature of only
    0.15oC.
    Thus, using these metrics, air temperature increase
    since 1960 has been more than three times greater
    than ocean temperature increase.

  8. #8 Rob
    June 24, 2009

    You also have to realize that the government stands to make money from all this bogus climate chnage stuff. Al Gore stands to make billions from his new software alone. Follwo the money and know the truth.

    http://www.standfortruthonline.com

  9. #9 Gaz
    June 24, 2009

    In my post #7, that 15×1022 J should read 15×10^22 J.

  10. #10 Jimmy Nightingale
    June 24, 2009

    I’d have more respect for Fielding if he had gone cold on the ETS for similar reasons as the Greens – that it is a pitiful proposed reduction and there is too much compensation in there for the polluters. To say that global warming isn’t real just confirms that the guy is more interested in playing politics and/or has no idea. What is about engineers?

    On a related note, Christine Milne’s speech to the National Press Gallery last week was impressive:

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/06/17/milne-the-climate-nightmare-is-upon-us/

  11. #11 MarkG
    June 24, 2009

    Fielding’s dispute with modern physics is fairly uninspiring. All I see is an attention seeking politician who has found some attention seeking contrarians; that particular cycle seems very self-supporting and very self serving.

  12. #12 dhogaza
    June 24, 2009

    OK, then, which model runs don’t show a steady increase in temperature over the coming century? Please point them out and where the IPCC feature them.

    Bluegrue’s too nice. Look, Andrews, at least read the friggin’ post and look at the friggin’ graphics before posting your cut-and-paste nonsense that is proven false right at the top of the page.

    Idiot.

  13. #13 MAB
    June 24, 2009

    Rob @ 8 writes:

    Follow [sic] the money and know the truth

    Thanks for the tip. I followed [the money](http://www.wikinvest.com/stock/Arch_Coal_(ACI)) and found some [strong incentive]( http://www.wikinvest.com/stock/Peabody_Energy_(BTU)) for a few powerful interest to [delay action]( http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/listorganizations.php) on carbon mitigation.

  14. #14 Chris O'Neill
    June 25, 2009

    What is about engineers?

    A lot of engineering has very little to do with physics. Engineering is more management than anything else. Fielding’s career was in engineering management.

  15. #15 MAB
    June 25, 2009

    What is it about Engineers?

    As a Engineer in a past life I would say Engineers are a mixed lot. (I note that Fielding tags himself as a trained Engineer, which may mean he only studying it, as is as green as a graduate).

    A strong influence is profits. In a pure science I am not aware that accounting, HR and Management are required topics. They were when I did engineering. And on the job, the dollar ruled what was and wasn’t pursued.

    Pure sciences traditionally searched for understanding for understanding sake. Engineering has a strong tradition of applying knowledge to improve a process, make a better commodity, or make it in a cheaper way.

    Thus with a profit focus comes a dependency on industry. And industry by definition is ‘established’ industry. There is a far smaller pool of entrepreneurial engineers pursuing burgeoning industry with their own savings. And established industry abhors disruptive technology so they wouldn’t fund such, or would buy up patents to block such ventures.

    So in short, there are some within engineering that have their focus and interest tied to the interests of their established Nanny Corporations. I think Feilding on-the-other-hand, is more driven by his “conservative” (in the US political sense) alliances.

  16. #16 pough
    June 25, 2009

    OK, then, which model runs don’t show a steady increase in temperature over the coming century?

    You know that scene in Zoolander, where David Duchovney gives Ben Stiller a confused look and says, “Are you serious? I just told you that a moment ago.”

    That made me laugh out loud, too.

  17. #17 Nils Ross
    June 25, 2009

    So it turns out politicians with non-science backgrounds know more about climate scientists than specialists in the field. That’s a relief to know. I bet all those climate scientists are glad that Australia has elected such clever politicians do their work for them.

    I look forward to Senator Fielding’s publications on Archive.

    Oh, wait.

  18. #18 Nils Ross
    June 25, 2009

    climate science*

  19. #19 Allan
    June 25, 2009

    In Federal Parliament the only sitting scientist is Dr Dennis Jensen (Tangney) who has a PhD in physics.
    Worked in CSIRO as a research scientist 1995-1999 and then in defence.
    He knows his way around physics, statistics and politics (along with just a few medical doctors and ex military types)
    He is constantly sneered at by the lawyers, diplomats, labor apparatchiks and that songster Garrett (LLB ANU) as not knowing science!!!!!!!!!!!!
    He has doubts about AGW but with the Government having shut out the scientific process the only scientist has to battle with the untrained!

  20. #20 Rob O'C.
    June 25, 2009

    Gaz wrote:
    >It’s the usual disingenuous nonsense for the most part, but
    > I was wondering if someone with the relevant knowledge
    > could comment on the logic of on this passage:

    I’m no expert, but the Fielding text you quote makes selective use of the facts (sadly, no surprise!).

    It looks like an attempt is being made to confuse increase
    in heat content and temperature.

    So the pesky scientists are wrong about this, what else have they got wrong, etc. ad nauseam.

    Ocean heat content anomaly to 3000m over that period is
    consistent with Levitus et al (2005)[1].

    Temperature anomaly from CRUTEM3 or HADCRUT3v (global) over the period looks right[2].

    However, it is not clear to me where the ‘upper ocean temperature’ figure comes from, nor why it would be used
    for any reason except to obscure the point.

    The literature seems to use ocean heat content and its
    changes as the key metric[3].

    Any oceanographers or climatologists in the audience?

    1. Levitus S J et al. (2005). Warming of the world ocean 1955-2003. Geophys. Res. Lett. 32, L02604,
    doi:10.1029/2004GL021592
    2. Data from http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/
    3. An example: poster summary of
    Domingues C M et al. (2008).
    Improved estimates of upper-ocean warming and multi-decadal sea-level rise.
    Nature 453: p.1090-1093.
    2.44MB download from:
    < http://www.pices.int/publications/presentations/Climate_Change_2008/Climate_Change_2008_S3_1/S3_1_Church.pdf>

  21. #21 MarkG
    June 25, 2009

    Oh please. Dr Jensen? Most of us are well aware of Dr Jensen. Which part of AGW does he have a problem with exactly? The part that is basic physics? or the part that is basic statistics?

    It’s pretty reprehensible to choose to “not be sure” about this fairly elementary science because “being sure” would put you in opposition to your parliamentary colleagues and require you to cross the floor on votes. It’s depressing that even physicists can be depended to “not be sure” about these things when their paychecks are dependant on this lack of surety.

  22. #22 Rob O'C.
    June 25, 2009

    Grr. Should have spotted these earlier.

    The ‘about 5%’ figure [actually about 3.5%] most likely comes from figure 5.4 from AR4WG1, p.393

    http://cce.890m.com/a-changing-world/#_edn1

    From the Levitus paper referenced earlier, Table T1 shows
    a mean temperature change over 1955-2003 of 0.118oC in
    the 0-700m layer.

    AR4WG1 chapter 5, section 5.2.2.1, p.390 gives 0.1oC over
    1961-2003.

    So the selective use of the facts comment still applies.
    I apologise for the deficiencies in my research.

  23. #23 Sally Johnson
    June 25, 2009

    Getting warmer? Sure.

    And I love it!

  24. #24 sod
    June 25, 2009

    Getting warmer? Sure. And I love it!

    denialists fighting over the most stupid statement of the day. Sally is leading..

    for now..

  25. #25 Mark
    June 25, 2009

    > Getting warmer? Sure.

    > And I love it!

    > Posted by: Sally Johnson

    Content: 36 characters. 0 thought.

  26. #26 Paul (UK)
    June 25, 2009

    Re Fielding and engineering.

    Well when i did my engineering degree we learnt nothing about management or accounting. Engineering was/is about applied science.

  27. #27 Mark
    June 25, 2009

    > Engineering was/is about applied science.
    >
    > Posted by: Paul (UK)

    Nope, it’s applied mechanics.

    And Chris says:

    > Fielding’s career was in engineering management.

    Is this known to be wrong?

  28. #28 Sock Puppet of the Great Satan
    June 25, 2009

    “Now Watts is complaining, that others violated his “right” to sit on the station quality data without doing an impact analysis, making it hard for him to just continue and mock micro site issues.”

    That’s a remarkably whiny post from Watts. It’s all moaning on nickpicks on typos and NOAA not asking him pretty pretty pretty please for his data, instead of looking at the data and seeing that the purported heat island effect he’s been touting doesn’t impact the trends.

  29. #29 Paul UK
    June 25, 2009

    >Nope, it’s applied mechanics.

    Not in electrical and electronic eng.
    The faculty was applied science.

  30. #30 Mark
    June 25, 2009

    > Not in electrical and electronic eng. The faculty was applied science.
    >
    > Posted by: Paul UK

    So what science was done in electrical and electronic engineering?

    Or was it all “This equation is how it works” and therefore applied mechanics (a branch of maths)?

    And are those the only two forms of engineering?

  31. #31 Chris O'Neill
    June 25, 2009

    Allan:

    In Federal Parliament the only sitting scientist is Dr Dennis Jensen (Tangney) who has a PhD in physics.

    No, he hasn’t. He has a PhD in metallurgy obtained in the engineering faculty of Monash University. I don’t think climate science argument from authority works very well with his qualification. Sadly, ignoramuses like Allan have been around a long time and will probably be around for a long time yet.

  32. #32 Dave Andrews
    June 25, 2009

    Bluegrue,

    NOAA has just shot itself, and quite likely the surface temp record in the USA, well and truly in the foot.

    Peterson’s ‘Talking Points’ http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/about/response-v2.pdf says,

    re an in press paper ” At the time the paper was written, station site evaluations were too incomplete to conduct a thorough investigation”

    and in response to their own question about poor siting and its impact on national temperature trends it says,

    “We are limited in what we can say due to limited information about station siting”

    In other words this large bureaucracy is admitting it knows so little about the temperature stations it has been using for all these years that it cannot say how good the information they have been providing is!

    You couldn’t make this up!

  33. #33 Marion Delgado
    June 25, 2009

    I’ll do engineer vs. physicist food fights all week, but in addition to grad studies in math physics i did one in engineering and it was applied mechanics, but the e. e. people did a bit of appllied E&M and I assume some engineers would do applied thermal and statistical and some would do chemistry and so on.

    I like the comment explaining some elements of why so many engineers do what they do very much. It’s ^5 (insightful) /.

  34. #34 MarkG
    June 25, 2009

    >You couldn’t make this up!

    Indeed;

    Q. Is there any question that surface temperatures in the United States have been rising rapidly during the last 50 years?
    A. None at all.

    Yeah, quite a bombshell. To paraphrase, even if there is less confidence in the US surface temperature it doesn’t matter, there are independent measurements that show the same story. The referenced paper, by the way, confirms the lack of bias in the surface temperature record.

    I just don’t understand why you denialists have such trouble with this stuff.

  35. #35 MarkG
    June 25, 2009

    >You couldn’t make this up!

    Indeed;

    Q. Is there any question that surface temperatures in the United States have been rising rapidly during the last 50 years?
    A. None at all.

    Yeah, quite a bombshell. To paraphrase, even if there is less confidence in the US surface temperature it doesn’t matter, there are independent measurements that show the same story. The referenced paper, by the way, confirms the lack of bias in the surface temperature record.

    I just don’t understand why you denialists have such trouble with this stuff.

  36. #36 MarkG
    June 25, 2009

    >You couldn’t make this up!

    Indeed;

    Q. Is there any question that surface temperatures in the United States have been rising rapidly during the last 50 years?
    A. None at all.

    Yeah, quite a bombshell. To paraphrase, even if there is less confidence in the US surface temperature it doesn’t matter, there are independent measurements that show the same story. The referenced paper, by the way, confirms the lack of bias in the surface temperature record.

    I just don’t understand why you denialists have such trouble with this stuff.

  37. #37 John Mashey
    June 25, 2009

    re: #31

    Thanks, that gives me an excuse to try out Scale K , a new version of the “X on a scale of 1 to 10)” model alluded to in How to learn about science and comment on scale @ RC.

    Take a look and see where you’d think PhD in metallurgy might fit.

    1) I now rate myself a K04 on this scale, as compared to the 2 on scale of 10 I guessed before. Too many people complained that that just didn’t leave much room below. In any case, it was derived by thinking about how far I had to be below the top folks (hundreds, at least; a non-expert inherently has trouble evaluating the relative expertise of the top professionals.)

    2) I have several times tried to incorporate a “negative knowledge” extension to the scale, i.e., K-1, K-2, etc, and so far, haven’t found one that works very well, since there is:

    a) One’s knowledge/expertise (K), and that actually has a reasonable structure.

    b) Then there is what one *believes* and what one *says*, and those may or may not be the same. Of course, knowing someone else’s real beliefs is not always obvious.

    3) Constructive comments welcome.

  38. #38 Bud
    June 25, 2009

    Dave Andrews: “You couldn’t make this up!”

    Well, whatever “it” is, apparently you can. Because you just did.

    “and in response to their own question about poor siting and its impact on national temperature trends it says,

    “We are limited in what we can say due to limited information about station siting””

    This is almost as bad as your initial spectacularly misplaced query. For future reference, if you want to quote-mine, make sure the quote itself is a few pages away from the more important information, k? That way, lazy lurkers like myself would not have been able to find this:

    “Two national time series were made using the same gridding and area averaging technique. One analysis was for the full data set. The other used only the 70 stations that surfacestations.org classified as good or best. We would expect some differences simply due to the different area covered: the 70 stations only covered 43% of the country with no stations in, for example, New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee or North Carolina. Yet the two time series, shown below as both annual data and smooth data, are remarkably similar. Clearly there is no indication for this analysis that poor current siting is imparting a bias in the U.S. temperature trends.”

    I don’t have the requisite computer knowledge to copy the NOAA graph demonstrating this from the original pdf file, but it’s right there on page 3.

    And for chrissakes, a little humility would not go amiss. Where’s the admission of error from your ridiculous question on comment #3?

  39. #39 kent
    June 25, 2009

    Tim’ uses a graph that has the 2005 temp as +.48 then 2008 as +.33. That gives us a 30% drop in the anomaly in just 3 years, or spoken in another way it was 45% warmer in 2005 than 2008.
    The Australian is not having a war with science but Tim is. If you actually look at the 2008 graph that Tim provides from Hadley you will notice the black line is in rollover mode. The world is waking up to the foolishness of the class clowns. The debate is not over, never was. Tim thinks those that want a debate are stupid, evil,a threat to human existance and so he promotes dishonesty in this blog with the useful idiots that lack critical thinking.The rise in temperature is decreasing not rising as the CO2 theory requires. An open mind means we look at climate change as having both cool and warm sides. This means we look at all climate drivers not just the ones that suit our point of view.
    If CO2 is so bad how is it that humans can live and work in concentrations many times the current level? Why is it that plants do best with much higher levels than we have at present? Could it be that the current levels are far to low for normal plant and human growth?

  40. #40 Bud
    June 25, 2009

    kent: “Tim’ uses a graph that has the 2005 temp as +.48 then 2008 as +.33. That gives us a 30% drop in the anomaly in just 3 years, or spoken in another way it was 45% warmer in 2005 than 2008.”

    Antone else stop reading here? Jesus…

  41. #41 MAB
    June 25, 2009

    Bud,

    Yep :)

    Too jaded to critique such tired mis-representations.

    However, James Hansen has an [interesting account](http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2009/20090625_CoalRiverMountain.pdf) of at debate that didn’t happen with the CEO of Massey coal.

    Particularly interesting to read how the news report portrayed the non-debate.

    Apparently coal spokes people prefer controlled sound bites to serious discussion.

  42. #42 Hank Roberts
    June 25, 2009

    hat tip to Jim Galasyn at RC for pointing this out:

    http://www.examiner.com/x-9111-SF-Environmental-Policy-Examiner~y2009m6d24-Is-the-EPA-suppressing-or-withholding-information-on-global-warming

    The stupid at WTF come through yet once again, falling for another PR scam and repeating it as though it were factual, temporarily convincing an Examiner columnist — who has quickly retracted the story after checking.

  43. #43 Gaz
    June 26, 2009

    That gives us a 30% drop in the anomaly in just 3 years, or spoken in another way it was 45% warmer in 2005 than 2008. (Kent)

    Anyone else stop reading here? Jesus… (Bud)

    Yep, me too, Bud.

    Kent – a rise of 0.13 degrees means it’s 45% warmer?

    For God’s sake, man, THINK!

  44. #44 Michael
    June 26, 2009

    The rise in temperature is decreasing not rising as the CO2 theory requires. – Kent

    Ignoring the torture of the English language….this is still nonsense.

    AWG does not mean the weather disappears.

    Geddit??

  45. #45 Paul (UK)
    June 26, 2009

    Mark:
    >So what science was done in electrical and electronic engineering?

    I think we are interpreting words differently.
    In the context of ‘applying science’ the idea isn’t that you apply science methodology. My interpretation is that you take what science has found, eg. Newtons laws and then apply it to solve practical problems (launching a projectile into space).

    It isn’t about launching hundreds of projectiles into space in order to get a set of results to prove a theory.

    I guess this could turn into a long winded discussion that leads no where all because of a few words and the way we force our own meanings on them.

  46. #46 Mark
    June 26, 2009

    > In the context of ‘applying science’ the idea isn’t that you apply science methodology.

    Ayte, but in that form of “applied science” then your science is applied maths.

    If

    A==B

    and

    B==C

    A==B==C and therefore A==C

    (as opposed to just “=”, where that may not be “is the equivalent of”)

  47. #47 dhogaza
    June 26, 2009

    So, Kent thinks that it’s been cooling since 1998 and the fact that 2005 is the warmest year on record proves it? :)

  48. #48 Bernard J.
    June 26, 2009

    That gives us a 30% drop in the anomaly in just 3 years, or spoken in another way it was 45% warmer in 2005 than 2008.

    Kent is teh funny.

    Sadly Gaz, your exhortation for him to “think” is a forlorn one, as such a process would by definition require at least two neurones and a synapse.

    From Kent’s mangled description of relative temperatures, it would appear that he is in possession of only one lonely, and probably apoptotic, neurone. Still, Messrs Dunning and Kruger predict that Kent will steadfastly stand by his incisive decontruction of greenhouse science.

    What interests me though is how many of those here, who are of Kent’s persuasion, will steadfastly stand by his ‘analysis’, and how many of this crowd will raise their hands to indicate that they understand why he is so wrong that he is not even wrong.

  49. #49 Beetlebau
    June 26, 2009

    Hmmm…Kent! I wonder if the last name is Steadman, certainly the processes in their Brains are similar.

  50. #50 Barton Paul Levenson
    June 26, 2009

    kent writes:

    Tim’ uses a graph that has the 2005 temp as +.48 then 2008 as +.33. That gives us a 30% drop in the anomaly in just 3 years, or spoken in another way it was 45% warmer in 2005 than 2008. The Australian is not having a war with science but Tim is.

    And you’re apparently having a war with basic statistics.

    Will you for God’s sake crack a book? Your dumb example above illustrates not one, but two misconceptions about how to analyze data.

    1. You do not determine a trend by drawing a line from the beginning point to the ending point.

    2. Two years is not an adequate sample size.

  51. #51 WotWot
    June 26, 2009

    The Wall Street Journal speaks on this issue:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124597505076157449.html

  52. #52 kent
    June 26, 2009

    Barton You are so wrong about the meaning of the term “trend”. Look it up. Point A to point B creates a trend line. Two years… actually three years is more than adequate to create a trend. Just look at the trend in thinking about CO2 is pollution or is the cause of the warming that is trending downward. That trend is increasing year on year.
    I should have added anomaly after the 45% warmer but since I was writing about anomaly, I slipped up. Me bad.
    De Hogass, you obvious don’t understand how to read a graph or how to comprehend what you read.

  53. #53 Jeremy C
    June 26, 2009

    When I did elec engineering at UTS in the 80’s there was none of this management stuff.

  54. #54 Dr Dave
    June 26, 2009

    Kent,

    1. A trend for the period 2005 to 2008 is not generated by drawing a line from the point that represents 2005 and the point that represents 2008. It is generated by considering equally all points in the whole dataset – i.e. 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 in this case.
    2. Barton’s point is that in noisy datasets short term “trends” can be meaningless. To be a meaningful trend the time period must be long enough for the effect of the noise to become small. For climate this is about 30 years. Therefore, the data for the period 2005-2008 tells you something about the noise (the weather) but it tells you nothing about the underlying trend (this is climate).

    We expect first year undergraduates to understand this before they even come to university.

  55. #55 Arthur Smith
    June 26, 2009

    John (#35) – I like your scale-K diagram…

    On negative numbers, surely that is simply a matter of thinking that you know certain facts that are in fact contrary to reality? I.e. K-1 through K-9 would reflect the degree of certainty plus quantity of counter-factual information the individual holds. Or K-1 could be those who have heard counter-factuals but don’t have a firm conviction of them (perhaps by listening to Fox News too much), K-2 those who have memorized a few and feel obliged to repeat them verbatim, K-3 and K-4 to greater degrees, K-5 and lower those who do some sort of counter-factual illogical analysis to come up with new ones etc..

    Sounds useful to me!

  56. #56 pough
    June 26, 2009

    Bud wrote:

    Anyone else stop reading here?

    No. I went further. kent’s always good for a laugh. I got this far:

    kent wrote:

    The world is waking up to the foolishness of the class clowns.

    Oh god I love the grandiose blather of denialists. Try to imagine a pretentious grade-schooler delivering mangled Shakespeare for full effect.

  57. #57 Mark
    June 26, 2009

    > Will you for God’s sake crack a book?
    > Posted by: Barton Paul Levenson

    BPL.

    1) that would be, like *work*. He’s far too intelligent to be bothered with THAT.

    2) And it can only show him wrong. Why on earth would he want to do that?

    Knowing that he’s lazy, stupid and doesn’t want to find out either, you’ll stop putting your unfair “expectations” on him.

    Just educate any of the fence-sitters who may otherwise be confused by his lies into thinking there’s still a debate going on.

  58. #58 John Mashey
    June 26, 2009

    re: #53 Arthur

    Thanks.

    Yes, I’ve played with one like that, and my fundamental problem is akin to Tolstoy’s

    “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

    K0-K10 feels pretty good as a linear scale:

    a) Some parts correspond well to recognizable education, training, experience, publication, etc. Good science is reasonably recognizable.

    b) It seems useful to help organize longer writings, so that people can understand where they are, see where they want to get, and be warned when they are about to get over their head and can skip that.

    c) It seems helpful to calibrate potential credibility.

    K-1 through K-9 are intuitively appealing, but so far, the difficulty is defining those crisply enough to locate meaningfully on one linear scale:

    Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer, Viscount Monckton, Steve Milloy, James Inhofe, Joseph Bast, David Bellamy, Freeman Dyson, Vaclav Klaus, Dash Riprock (aka Mark Gillar), random blog posters, etc.

    For example: consider some meme offered by:
    a) Some random poster who clearly is repeating what:
    b) Richard Lindzen wrote in some OpEd

    Are those both ~K-2? Somehow that doesn’t feel like a meaningful grouping.

    I’m playing with multiple other axes, and then trying to see if they can be summarized/combined more succinctly.

    More iterations coming, so keep thinking!

  59. #59 Dave Andrews
    June 26, 2009

    bud,

    Wow this is interesting. Exclude 53% of the country and yet you can still apparently discern a trend. Follow this logic and you only need 42 stations to discern the temperature over the whole of Antarctica, despite the fact it is over one and a half times the size of the US!

  60. #60 Dave Andrews
    June 26, 2009

    Bud,
    also note the vast majority of those stations are located around the shores of Antarctica with only 2 or3 inland. Still that’s no problem if we use dodgy statistical methods.

  61. #61 Michael
    June 26, 2009

    Shorter Dave: There aren’t enough stations to prove warming, so I know it’s cooling.

  62. #62 Robert Grumbine
    June 26, 2009

    John: Times like this repeat my wish that you had your own blog. I think your K scale would be an interesting thing for its own thread, rather than coming to a Deltoid comment section. Actually, if you’re up for it, you’re welcome to bring it up as a guest post over at my blog.

    Your scale is reminiscent of one I invented after I’d gotten thoroughly annoyed with Library of Congress classification, back in grad school. One thing I did, and which some comments here are towards, was make it multidimensional. I don’t think it’s quite necessary here, at least not for the reasons given.

    For the positive side, there are two progressions involved, I think, that convert well to the negatives. One part is the ‘how much does the person know’. Our proverbial tabula rasa gets a solid, honest, zero. We all have such areas. As you get to know more, you move up the scale. Part of this is that as you move up, you move to newer, better, and more challenging information sources. The other part is that there is a transition that typically happens somewhere around K5 from being strictly a knowledge consumer — reading the sources — to being one of the producers of knowledge in that area. Start running (K5, say) the models and looking at results, to designing the experiments, to … being the K10 person who not only has ideas and pursues them well, but whose ideas open areas for hosts of other people to carry out new research programs.

    On the negative side, then, first is to replace knowledge with falsehood. The more that what the person thinks they know is false, the higher the rating. A thoroughly committed, say, Velikovskian, who had saturated on those sources and kept clear of any actual scientific or historic sources, would be a -K6 or so. It’s hard to get to this level, as ordinarily a certain amount of truth is mixed into the falsehood.

    Second is to go from merely consuming falsehood to being a producer of it. Your agnotologists are the -K5 to -K10 here. The Tobacco Institute, Heartland Institute, and Frank Luntz, say, being -K10. George Will, with respect to climate, being a solid -K8, maybe -9.

    As with any sort of knowledge, any given ranking holds only within a given area. Richard Lindzen, as regards atmospheric radiation tides*, is a solid +K9, to +K10. For his efforts in public on climate, -K9 or so.

    I would also stay away from what the person has in their head. If their public writings are sowing falsehood, they’re on the -K scale for that area. If they believe the falsehood, not really relevant. They’re doing damage, and we can observe that.

    Digressing: I’ve heard of a few people who made it to +K8 or so levels of knowledge without ever discovering how to be producers of knowledge. They could ace any exam, and, could be very challenging questioners in department lectures — as long as it was strictly a matter of knowing what was already in the literature. Very few such people. That’s why (John knows this, but for the ones who don’t) we do look to see whether a person is publishing in the professional literature for the topic at hand. Almost everyone, if they’re going to be functioning at +K7 or higher, has to be producing new knowledge themselves.

    *Lindzen earned the Charney award for his work on radiational tides. That’s +K9. I figure that since it was the Charney award, Charney’s the +K10. I think professional opinion would side with me that Charney was much more influential on the field as a whole than Lindzen.

  63. #63 Bud
    June 26, 2009

    Dave:

    “Wow this is interesting. Exclude 53% of the country and yet you can still apparently discern a trend.”

    Go back and read the paper you yourself linked to. There was no exclusion going on. Why is it so tricky for you to comprehend the following line: “Two national time series were made using the same gridding and area averaging technique. One analysis was for the full data set. The other used only the 70 stations that surfacestations.org classified as good or best.”

    Just as an aside, but your rhetoric about excluding “53% of the country” is nothing short of laughable (your typo notwithstanding – I’ll assume you meant 57%). Taking a subset of 43% of stations across the country to analyse simply means that you are removing 57% of the stations across the whole country for that particular dataset, not that you are separating 43% of the country off from the remaining 57%. You may as well argue that because 99.99% of towns in the US do not have a station, the NOAA is basing its data on 0.01% of the country. Good luck with that.

    Still waiting for your comment on model predictions of temperature over the last decade, btw.

  64. #64 Bud
    June 26, 2009

    Further, if you get bored of getting on my case, could you please challenge kent on his assertion that if you exclude 90% of the last 30 years, you can still somehow discern a trend?

    Cheers, Bud.

  65. #65 Bud
    June 26, 2009

    “John: Times like this repeat my wish that you had your own blog.”

    Echoed, as a regular lurker and reader of the comments sections.

  66. #66 John Mashey
    June 26, 2009

    re: #60 Robert

    Thanks for the kind words and comments, and I may well take you up on that offer. This is (the most settled) part of an interlocked set of models (scales & maps) that I’ve been assembling, so there may be something worth a guest post.

    and #63 Bud

    re: own blog

    Thanks, but there is a collection of reasons why I’ve been resisting that so far. Off-topic, so not now.

  67. #67 Barton Paul Levenson
    June 27, 2009

    kent writes:

    Barton You are so wrong about the meaning of the term “trend”. Look it up. Point A to point B creates a trend line. Two years… actually three years is more than adequate to create a trend.

    Militant ignorance is ugly, kent. Once again I urge you to CRACK A BOOK. An introductory statistics book. There must be plenty of them you can get cheap on Amazon.com.

    A TREND is determined by performing a linear regression against time. That means you have to use all the points, not just the end points. And it doesn’t count as a TREND unless the slope turns out to be statistically significant, as measured by the t-statistic on the coefficient of the time term.

    And two to three points is not enough for any trend to be statistically significant. It’s just not a big enough sample size.

    And for climate trends you generally want 30 years of data. The World Meteorological Organization defines climate as mean regional or global weather over a period of 30 years or more.

  68. #68 Mark
    June 27, 2009

    > Wow this is interesting. Exclude 53% of the country and yet you can still apparently discern a trend.
    > Posted by: Dave Andrews

    Well given that the US has an area of 1.9 billion acres and each station covers about 1/10,000th of an acre, you don’t even have 1% of the US sampled, do you…

    Where’s the challenge gone? The denialists have all turned into morons! Shooting down their arguments is like shooting DEAD fish in a barrel. Where there’s no water, just fish…

  69. #69 Dave Andrews
    June 27, 2009

    Mark,

    OMG, you might be right! Except the temp from these stations is extrapolated across a wide area, so if you are missing 57% you might have a serious problem!

  70. #70 Mark
    June 27, 2009

    > OMG, you might be right! Except the temp from these stations is extrapolated across a wide area, so if you are missing 57% you might have a serious problem!

    > Posted by: Dave Andrews

    Uh, you’ve said in the past that CO2 can’t be a problem since it is only 0.04% of the atmosphere and we’ve only increased it by 0.01%.

    Why is it that in the case of CO2, the absolute figures are necessarily important, not the relative size, yet here you assert that the relative size is necessarily important?

    And if you toss a coin 10 times, you’ll get about the same average as if you tossed 100 times. Despite the fewer tosses.

    You have NO CLUE whatsoever.

    Or you’re assuming that someone with no clue will say “You know, that Dave may have something there!”.

    But you have a huge honking big problem in that you now have to argue against a case you made before (CO2 can’t be a problem because it’s only 0.04%) and yet the case against you can keep the same argument: basic statistics.

    Pitiful.

    Really, really pitiful.

  71. #71 anon
    June 28, 2009

    No satellite data as usual, can’t let inconvenient data get in the way of a moral imperative, can we?

  72. #72 Dave Andrews
    June 28, 2009

    Mark,

    “Uh, you’ve said in the past that CO2 can’t be a problem since it is only 0.04% of the atmosphere and we’ve only increased it by 0.01%.”

    Can’t ever recall using that particular argument – maybe someone else.

    The thing is NOAA is obviously an incompetent organisation. It has never apparently done any quality control on its stations but tries to use that lack of quality control as a defence. It tries to criticise the way Watts and Surface Stations organised their study whilst at the same time having to rely utterly on that study for data about NOAA’s own network!.

    This calls into serious question the value of NOAA’s US temperature record and in quieter times expect heads to roll.

  73. #73 bluegrue
    June 28, 2009

    anon #69,
    have a look at [GISTEMP, Hadcrud, UAH and RSS](http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/mean:60/offset/plot/rss/mean:60/offset:0.24/plot/uah/mean:60/offset:0.24/plot/hadcrut3vgl/mean:60/offset:0.1) as 5 year running means. I have offset the data sets using eye-balling such that the impact of the different base periods is lessened; it’s not the proper way to do it, but works well enough for the sake of this argument. Here’s the [same plot, but showing data since 1970 only](http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/mean:60/offset/from:1970/plot/rss/mean:60/offset:0.24/plot/uah/mean:60/offset:0.24/plot/hadcrut3vgl/mean:60/offset:0.1/from:1970). So what is the “inconvenient” bit in the satellite data, that you wanted to point out?

  74. #74 Mark
    June 29, 2009

    > The thing is NOAA is obviously an incompetent organisation

    It is? Where is this “intelligence” gained?

    > It tries to criticise the way Watts and Surface Stations organised their study whilst at the same time having to rely utterly on that study for data about NOAA’s own network!.

    And uses Watt’s data to recreate the data from good sites (by Watt’s
    decision) and finds that there is no change in the trend.

    And Watts complains that his data is being used without his OK. I thought he and you demanded open access to raw data!

    So having used Watt’s demarcation to select only good sites, the need for quality control over and above what is already done (I note that you haven’t even read what QC is done on the dataset) is not needed.

    Now are you asking that NOAA spend more of your tax money on changing their network of weather stations?

    It would be a first from your kind…

  75. #75 Mark
    June 29, 2009

    > So what is the “inconvenient” bit in the satellite data, that you wanted to point out?
    >
    > Posted by: bluegrue

    It’s inconvenient for HIM. He just didn’t say who the inconvenience was for…

  76. #76 Steve Chamberlain
    June 29, 2009

    Bud (38): “Antone else stop reading here? Jesus…”. Regrettably, no :-(

    Kent (37): “Why is it that plants do best with much higher levels than we have at present”

    There are multitudes of papers in umpteen journals on biology that have examined the potential effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 on plant growth rates. If you’d bothered to read any of these papers you would have quickly discovered that the only general conclusion you could reasonably draw is that the effects are a long way from the simplicity (if not simple-mindedness) of your statement.

    At the very least your comment shows that you haven’t even read Chapter 4 of AR4 WG2, let alone begun to read and assimilate the range of effects on all sorts of plant types in a whole panoply of vegetation types. In the unlikely event that you really are interested in learning more, all you have to do is type in “effects of elevated CO2 on plant growth” into google scholar – there are scads of freely available papers that discuss this complex field of research. All you have to do is READ THEM.

    Kent: “Could it be that the current levels are far to [sic] low for normal plant and human growth?

    No.

    Now here’s a question for you:
    Would it be asking too much of you and your ilk (Ray, for example) that you stop spouting specious, simplistic and fallacious b*ll*cks on complex facets of profound disciplines like the chemistry of photosynthesis and the multifarious physiological factors that constrain plant cell function, plant growth and vegetation ecology?

    Select the most appropriate answer from the following:
    a) Yes
    b) Yes
    c) I don’t understand the question, but probably yes.

  77. #77 Dave Andrews
    June 29, 2009

    Mark,

    Nobody knows how NOAA produced that graph because they have not provided any information on the data sets or methods they used.

    And as they have patently demonstrated that they themselves know virtually nothing about the stations they use for their temperature records how can one trust any information they provide based upon records based upon those stations?

  78. #78 Mark
    June 30, 2009

    “Mark,

    Nobody knows how NOAA produced that graph because they have not provided any information on the data sets or methods they use”

    Neither has Lindzen, Pielke, Monkton, Plimer or all the others you use to say “SEE! There’s no warming at all!!!”.

    With no raw data you and your denialist pals still say “It’s been cooling since 2001″.

    It seems there’s data enough for your assertions. It seems there’s data enough when you can use it to bolster your lame theories. Just not enough when it doesn’t support your preconception.

    Strange that.

  79. #79 luminous beauty
    June 30, 2009

    Nobody knows how NOAA produced that graph because they have not provided any information on the data sets or methods they used.

    Pull the other one.

  80. #80 Chris S.
    June 30, 2009

    Addendum to Steve Chamberlain’s response to Kent in §74

    Current CO2 levels may be too low for certain interactions: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080324173612.htm

    “Insects Take A Bigger Bite Out Of Plants In A Higher Carbon Dioxide World”

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